My name is Tommy Saunders, and I am passionate about all things wild especially Ornithology and Lepidoptera. I am 15 years old, based in Hampshire, and have been passionate about wildlife since I was 8. I am also the Youth Engagement Officer for HOS (Hampshire Ornithological Society)
When I first heard about the Cameron Bespolka Trust and the work they have done and are doing to this day, I was eager to learn more and find out how I could get more involved with the Trust. My first taste of what the Cameron Bespolka Trust were doing was at the first BTO Bird Camp in Thetford, Norfolk when I was 12. And that’s where I have made most of my relationships with other young birders my age and I am very pleased to still be in touch with them today.
One of my aspirations is to encourage the next generation of birders and wildlife enthusiasts because there are not that many of us. We need to inspire young people to look after and care for the natural environment. I was fortunately asked by HOS and the Cameron Bespolka Trust to be a young leader for the recent HOS Bird and Nature camp in the New Forest, Hampshire and that’s where I met lots more young naturalists and saw them grow in knowledge during the weekend. HOS and I have now decided to give all young people in full time education an opportunity to have a free membership to HOS. This is very kindly sponsored by the Cameron Bespolka Trust. Since being the Youth Engagement Officer, I have encouraged a lot of young people and got them to get more involved in the natural world. I carry out a lot of work in Hampshire and help record data and other research and I am very pleased that I have broken a few Hampshire birding records.
The Cameron Bespolka Trust is the best in the conservation world and I highly respect all the work that they done to encourage the next generation. For myself, they have given me the opportunity to go to young bird and nature camps in Norfolk and the New Forest which has really helped me and it will 100% encourage the next generation of environmentalists.